OGA Talked About In NZ

The New Zealand Herald's Peter Williams writes about the Ohio Golf Association's competition ball: 

The Ohio Golf Association (OGA) is boldly going where no golf body has gone before. It's ordering competitors in one of its tournaments to use a certain ball - although they haven't actually decided which one.

The OGA, which runs the game in the state where Jack Nicklaus was born and raised, says they are taking a stand against the eroding playability of our old courses due to the length of the modern golf ball.

So, when the OGA hosts the Champions Tournament in August, every player will be required to use a lower-compression ball chosen by the tournament committee.

The impact of the long-distance, modern golf ball is one of the hottest discussion points in American golf.

The R&A and USGA are the only bodies which can legislate against the manufacturers to stop the ball going further. There are already many restrictions on equipment. A ball must be a certain size and weight, driver heads must be no larger than 460cc, while there has to be a certain angle between the club face on an iron and the grooves. So the game's rulers haven't been afraid to put restrictions on equipment, even if they've been sued by manufacturers as a consequence.
But the major reason elite players hit the ball further is the advance in ball technology. The revolution started in 1996 with Spalding's first high-performance two-piece ball, the Top Flite Strata. Manufacturers followed suit with two-piece technology and since equipment companies like Titleist and Callaway put their R&D efforts into ball technology, there's been no stopping increased performance.

But while the elite can hit the ball up to 100m more - 320m par fours on the PGA Tour are now considered driveable - average club players don't get the same advantage.